Kaitlynn (2) and Silas (10 months) both enjoyed “helping” with Freezer Cooking Day. I think they may have done more eating than helping, but that’s okay. I figure if I start training them young, someday soon, they’ll be my right hand and my left hand.
While I worked on grating the cheese, the others got busy chopping peppers, boiling noodles, browning ground beef, and Gretchen started putting together the Beef, Bean, and Tomato Burritos. (I’d love to share that recipe with you, but she made it up on the stop–as the girls in my family are prone to do!–so I haven’t a clue what was in them aside from cheese, tomatoes, taco seasoning, beef, beans, and tomatoes rolled up in tortillas).
Our kitchen is on the small side. It works for our little family of five, but it gets cramped really quickly if you add in more people. However, compared to the crackerbox kitchen we had in our little basement apartment, it seems rather spacious!
I wasn’t sure how four of us were going to cook in the kitchen without bumping into each other all over the place–especially since we’re short on counter space. My sister had a brilliant idea: set up a cardtable! So we added a large amount of work space just with this simple addition to the kitchen.
Someday, I’d love to have a a large kitchen with massive amounts of cupboard and countertop space. But in the mean time, a card table works great when you’re in a pinch for extra countertop space!
Our Freezer Cooking Day began at 9:15 a.m. yesterday morning. I had planned a Master List of everything that needed to be done and the order it needed to be done. I also tried to equally divide the work up among those of us who were working in the kitchen. We didn’t completely follow the plan, but it was really helpful to have everything thought-through ahead of time.
Remembering how we’d run out of bowls and pots and pans last time, I asked everyone to bring pots and pans and bowls. I also had everyone pitch in on bringing ingredients and that seemed to work well.
The only thing I forgot to ask someone to bring? A real cheese grater.
I have this little half-sized dinky one that I picked up at the store a number of months ago when my much-nicer one got rusted. Let’s just say that it was rather impractical to grate that pile of cheese blocks with my mini cheese grater.
Somehow, I managed to grate them all–but it took me probably five times what it would have taken with a real grater. But I’m all about making do. Next time, though, I’m definitely investing in a better cheese grater!
When I asked for ideas for using up canned biscuit dough a few days ago, I never quite expected to get over 450 responses! I almost wished I’d picked up more than 12 cans as now I have biscuit dough recipes running out my ears.
But alas, I only had 12 cans, so I decided on making and since I had all the ingredients on hand to make both of those. We had a dinner to attend last night so I figured those would be perfect to bring to it.
The Monkey Muffins were so easy to make–especially with my handy-dandy kitchen scissors!
The was a snap to make as well. But word to the wise: be sure to put a pan underneath your pie plates. I made two of these and they leaked brown sugar goop all over the bottom of the oven.
Do you know what brown sugar goop does when it leaks onto the oven floor? That’s right, it catches on fire.
I wasn’t paying much attention and all of a sudden happened to notice an orange glow emanating from the oven window. The brown sugar goop was ablaze!
After sequestering the children far away from the oven, I pulled the almost-baked coffee cakes out, turned off the oven, shut the oven door, and waited to make sure the fire went out. All the while, my 5-year-old daughter was hollering “There’s an e-mer-gen-ceeee!!” all throughout the house. It was a prime opportunity to reiterate what you are supposed to do when there’s a fire.
The coffee cake turned out wonderfully, despite the fire. My husband called it delicious–and I was even pretty impressed that canned biscuits could turn into something so scrumptious.
Now I just have to figure out how to get my oven to stop stinking and smoking!
I finally finished planning our Freezer Cooking Day for tomorrow. Here’s what’s on our list:
::Beef, Bean and Tomato Burritos
:: (from )
::All Purpose Master Pancake and Waffle Baking Mix (from
Other possibilities, if we have extra time and energy: Chicken Pockets, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.
We’ll be doubling, tripling, or quadrupling pretty much all the recipes in order to make enough for 2-3 dinners’ worth for our family, my sister and her husband, and my sister-in-law and brother.
I’ll be posting any recipe adaptions we did, pictures, and more during the play-by-play Freezer Cooking Day posts I’ll be sharing on Friday.
Are you participating in April Freezer Cooking Days? If so, post about your cooking plan on your blog and then come back here and leave your direct link below so we can all be inspired! Please note: links which do not link directly to your freezer cooking post or which do not contain your freezer cooking plan will be deleted.
As many of you know, my husband and I lived on beans and rice while he was in law school in order to stay out of debt. It wasn’t easy–especially when many others around us were living extravagantly when they had no money to do so.
But one of the biggest lessons we learned was to be content with what we have and stop worrying about what others think. From the old cars to the thrift store clothes to the coupon-clipping to the eating at home, we just got used to being weird and it didn’t bother us if we were the only ones pinching pennies.
One of the things we did to save money was to only have one car for a few years. While it’s nice to have two vehicles, we certainly learned that it is a luxury, not a necessity. And we got along just fine as a one-car family.
When Jesse got a job with a long commute, we saved up and bought a second vehicle–an old blue minivan. This vehicle has been Jesse’s mode of transportation for the last few years and he’s driven Old Blue Van all over the state to his various court appearances and attorney functions. He’s gotten quite a few funny looks and interesting remarks from other attornies since it’s definitely not the typical car a lawyer would drive.
After a number of years of scrimping, saving, investing, and working hard, we’re now in a position where we could afford to pay cash for a newer, nicer car. So I’ve been thinking recently about how badly I felt that Jesse was still driving such a clunker and guessing he probably got tired of the comments about his less-than-ideal vehicle, even though he never has once complained about it.
So I told Jesse the other day that I’d like for us to save up to pay cash for a better car for him. He looked at me and said sincerely, “I don’t need a new car and I don’t care what other people think.”
I love that guy! And I completely agree with him: There’s such a freedom in not having to spend time stressing about impressing other people.
We’ll probably buy a newer vehicle at some point in the not-too-distant future (likely when Old Blue Van breathes its last breath!), but in the mean time, we’re content and thankful. After all, we have two vehicles–a luxury that many people can’t even fathom!